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01 November 2010

SOS urges Civil Society NOT to put forward names for the SABC Board

The SOS Coalition, following a special meeting of its working group, has decided NOT to put forward names for the SABC Board, until the following issues have been resolved:
- That the Chair of the Board, Dr. Ben Ngubane, either resigns or is removed by the Appointing
Body (including Parliament and the President).
- That Parliament decisively deals with the various corporate governance breaches that have
taken place at the SABC (including but not limited to the appointment of the Head of News, the
Board’s decision to appoint an Acting CEO from outside the Corporation in direct violation of
the SABC Board’s Articles of Association, and the Chair's refusal to sign the delegation of
authority document in terms of the appointment of the Acting CEO.)
- That the remaining board members (including the executive members of the Board that are
part of SABC management) publically commit themselves to scrupulous adherence to good
corporate governance practices and protocols going forward.
- That Parliament commit to amending the Broadcasting Act, 1999 to state clearly that the
Minister has no role to play in the appointment of the executive members of the Board. The
appointment of the executive members is solely the responsibility of the Board. SOS pointed
out on numerous occasions during the Broadcasting Amendment Bill process in 2008, the fact
that the Broadcasting Act is problematically silent about the appointment of executive
management. To date Parliament has not resolved this issue creating continuing crises around
these appointments. Further, these gaps in the legislation encourage inappropriate Ministerial
interference in the direct management and editorial control of the SABC.

The SOS Coalition believes that it cannot in good faith approach members of the public to stand for the SABC Board unless these problems have been decisively resolved. The SABC Board and oversight structures need to start 2011 with a commitment to good corporate governance otherwise the Corporation will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis. Civil society cannot stand by and let our SABC crumble.

For more information:
Kate Skinner – SOS Coordinator – (082) 926-6404
Patrick Craven – Spokesperson Cosatu – (082) 821-7456
Matankana Mothapo – Spokesperson Communications Workers Union – (082) 759-0900
Oupa Lebogo – General Secretary – Creative Workers Union – (084)511-8763
William Bird – Director Media Monitoring Africa – (082) 887-1370
Faiza Smith – Director Misa-SA – (076) 995-9513
Hannes du Buisson – General Secretary Bemawu – (082) 920-8669

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